Back to exhibition

Boils, Plague Sores and Embossed Carbunkles

Creating Cures

Drug Jar


About the Item 

In Shakespeare’s time people often bought their medicines from apothecaries. Apothecaries were a bit like modern day pharmacists. The apothecaries could sell the ingredients for medicines and they also made medicines. The ingredients came in the form of dry herbs or powders and wet syrups or other liquids. This jar is for a wet ingredient because it has a spout for pouring. It once contained ‘Syrup of Hissop’ which was a remedy for coughs. An apothecary’s shop would have been full of colourful jars like this one containing all sorts of ingredients.


Learn more!

There are lots of colourful drug jars in our online catalogue - just search ‘drug jar’ and have a look at the different ones.

What sort of medicines could you buy from the chemist today if you had a cough?



CC-BY-NC-ND Image Courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust